Nicole Newman – Triumph, Growth, and Success Personified
Katrena: When did you decide that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Nicole: The entrepreneurial spirit in my life started before I was born. It came from my family. My grandfather owned a paving company on the main line and my mother is a caterer. I think I had tendencies when I was a child, but I was called to undertake for my family. As a single mother of 3 boys ages 7.5 and 4, my life required the freedom to ensure that my children learned and the ability to provide them with activities to enrich their lives. My from 9 to 5, which was actually 7 to.
Katrena: How did you choose a profession in marketing?
Nicole: Every entrepreneur should look at the world and figure out how to solve today’s problem. The digital divide is a huge problem that separates the “haves” from the “have-nots.” Although my profession is marketing, the problem I am solving is the digital divide.
Katrena: How do you define “successful business networks”?
Nicole: Successful business networking is about finding a way to create a win-win situation for both parties. This could happen between a company and a customer. Commercial exchanges need monetary value to satisfy customers.
Katrena: You are known to your colleagues as a professional authority on networking and you recently received the Networker of the Year 2009 award from Urban Momentum. What kind of response or comments have you received on this award?
Nicole: I received great comments and that award opened doors of opportunity for me (like Exceed magazine). The press feeds itself. One prize begets another that begets another. The hard part is being recognized by yourself and finding a way to keep that engine running.
Katrena: When did you realize that networking was important to the success of your business?
Nicole: I learned the importance of networking in graduate school. I found that graduate school had a high admission price based on the network it was connecting to, the more alumni that were presidents and CEOs, the higher the price. Networking is not only important for business, it is important for life. 70% of all jobs are found through referral networks.
Katrena: How have you personally benefited from networking?
Nicole: I am an information driven person. The best source of information is people. Most of the goods and services I buy are based on referrals from people. It’s hard to think of anything in my life that isn’t the result of networking. Networking allowed me to remodel my entire house for 10K instead of 40K. Networking enables my children to get a world-class education in technology at a public school price. Networking affects my life on a daily basis.
Katrena: She is now the Chief Operating Officer for Premier Brand Marketing. How does this role relate to the brand you have created?
Nicole: DiversePhilly merged with Premiere Brand to create synergy. Synergy is defined when the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Synergy cannot be created in a team of one. Premiere Brand has alienated DiversePhilly’s design requirements and allowed me to focus on my core networking mission (networking at the next level) and build a business with a solid foundation. I have now fully focused on my strengths, which will work to strengthen the DiversePhilly brand.
Katrena: What events, circumstances, and experiences helped shape who you are?
Nicole: Everything in my life prepared me for this journey. Entrepreneurship is not a final destination, it is a journey and I am grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy the journey every day. The experience that shaped my belief system is being called. I didn’t have a solid spiritual foundation before, but on this journey where circumstances change from moment to moment, you must have the conviction to do this work with a purpose higher than mere monetary satisfaction.
Katrena: Who has had the most influence in your life and how has their connection with you impacted you?
Nicole: My mother has the greatest influence in my life. She is my foundation and all things revolve around her wisdom. My mom is my family’s writer. One day I will publish your book of poems. His values were focused on learning for himself and getting an education. She did not finish college, but she made sure from the moment I was born that I would go and finish college. We started our college plan when I was 4 years old.
Katrena: Tell us a bit about your latest project.
Nicole: The book was another inspiration. It was meant to record the journey that is my life. I had always known the book in my future, but the future is now. It is a story of triumph over circumstances. That’s a true Philadelphia story and we like the homeless. It is meant to inspire everyone to set a goal for their life regardless of current circumstances.
Katrena: What’s next for you?
Nicole: My next project is to journal how DiversePhilly was successfully implemented so that we can start the process all over again in another nearby city …
Katrena: What advice or inspirational message do you have for our audience?
Nicole: Believe! Believe that the world is your oyster and it is up to you to find a need that you can satisfy. The experience will bring wonders of joy and then, and only then, will you be blessed with a monetary gain …
We thank Nicole for taking the time to share with us.